Frequently Asked Questions

Q - Is the purchase process secure?

Yes. When purchasing the investment properties, the reservation agreement clearly lays out the terms. Funds are held in client accounts (where, legally, funds belong to the customer) and your solicitor ensures registration is completed under your name at the UK Land Registry after the exchange of contracts and full payment. All the Solicitors recommended and used in the purchase process are fully regulated members of the UK Law Society.

Q - Can any Nationality buy property in the UK?

Yes, absolutely. The UK government has opened its doors more so than ever now. The UK is enjoying a buoyant investment culture, and has secured more investment now than ever before. We are recognised as being one of the most positive, straight-forward, and reliable partners. There are so many benefits for investors.

Q - As a non-resident could I get a mortgage?

Traditionally non-residents could not get a UK mortgage. However, we are currently working on securing a tangible alternative for our 4G investment property initially for ex-pats. Speak with your consultant for more details.

Q – What is the biggest purchase issue for overseas buyers?

The biggest issue for overseas buyers is identification to the satisfaction of your solicitor. For this, the following ID information is required, ideally presented personally by the buyer to the solicitor:

  • Passport
  • Address ID e.g. driving licence, ID card or utility bill
  • Bank statement

You will also need to state the source of funding – normally this is from ‘savings’ or ‘business profits’. If you are not able to visit at present and are not in the UK, we will need attested copies prior to the exchange of contracts. These can be attested by any UK solicitor beforehand (e.g. at the viewing visit) or by a Lawyer in the buyer’s own country, in which case the Land Registry form ID-1 may also need to be completed.

Q - Does a UK property purchase give me any automatic visa or residency rights?

Unfortunately not. Purchase of any property in the UK does not give you any automatic residency or work rights or any permanent visa in the UK.

** Look at our section regarding ‘easyVisa Applications’, we have a dedicated legal team with a high success rate for residency applications. We can help in many ways.

Q – Why do properties vary in price?

Just like anywhere in the world, house prices depend on certain key aspects, for example; the exact location within the given town, the condition of the property, the demographic of property, the size of property, the amenities around the location, schools, motorways, and links etc.

Q - What are the on-going running costs of investment properties?

You would need to keep the property insured and there will be a management fee payable to us, or our partner company for managing the property every year. This is normally a percentage of the rent. We try to maximise the rent. Council tax and utility bills (gas, electric, water, telephone line/internet, cable/satellite TV) are the responsibility of the tenant.

Q - What are costs of purchase?

For the ‘best buy, Low Risk’ investment properties the costs are low and fixed at £699 for the legal fees, and a 3% charge by the government for stamp duty include:

  • Solicitor fees
  • Local search fees
  • 12 month building insurance
  • Registration fee for Lands Department
  • Stamp Duty eg 3% of the property price

For ‘Buy to Live’ properties and high value properties, the costs can be higher. The fees for each of the above areas will be higher, and there will be fees related to a Mortgage. The biggest cost with the expensive properties is likely to be stamp duty.

Q - What is the difference between Freehold and Leasehold?

There are 3 main categories in the UK.

Category 1 – Freehold and ‘999 years’ Leasehold: These properties are grouped together, as 999 years is a long time. The market value is the same, and for purchase and sale purposes these are treated in a similar way. All of the investment properties fall into this category – either freehold or ‘999-year leasehold’. Most of the properties in the North West are of this type. This is the best category.

Category 2 – Leasehold ’99 years’ or ‘125 years’: These types of properties are popular in London. Almost all apartments/student flats fall into this category too. The value of such properties is less, especially if they are old with fewer years remaining on the lease. If the lease gets shorter than 60 years, the value can be affected as mortgages can be more difficult to obtain. However, now, under new laws, leases can be extended without excessive penalty.

Category 3 – Leasehold ‘3 to 20 years’ typically: Such properties should be considered as long-term rental rather than true purchase.

Q-What is Guaranteed Rent option?

The Guaranteed Rent option means that you receive the rent if your property should become vacant or if your tenant does not pay the rent. We do not offer a non-guaranteed option, as it is viable for our clients, 11% is an extremely good return for the UK market. You can select to choose the guaranteed rent for 2 years on the property purchase if you wish. Guaranteed rent provides additional re-assurance to investors and is popular amongst overseas investors as it gives them the certainty of income. You can continue with the guaranteed rent option even after the first 2 years if you wish.

Q - Will I have to pay UK tax?

Most of our customers e.g. those from Europe or those from countries with Treaties with UK may qualify for an allowance of about £11,000 which means that the first £11,000 per year in the UK is not taxed. Thereafter, for income above the allowance, you will have to pay 20% tax on net rental income after all costs. We can help you with this process and with claiming the allowance.

Q - Should I consider buying under-construction or off-plan property?

Take extra care when purchasing an investment property that is yet to be built or is under construction. The risks with such properties remain high. The project could be cancelled and there can be delays in completion and then in renting the properties out. Prices are often inflated by developers, as properties are difficult to compare. For investment, only consider a property that is built and already rented out. Further, you should buy from a company that has control over the property and remains responsible to you after the sale.

Q - Is buying a house better than buying a flat/apartment?

Apartments are popular in city centres; they are leasehold units so may have high service charges for common facilities. Net rental yields are much lower than terraced houses. Over the past 10 years, many flats were built and then sold at high prices by developers. Thus, there may be limited capital growth as prices are already too high

Q - Are student flats/pods a good investment?

These are units built by developers and managed by the student letting companies, then sold by agents as investments. However, they have high management costs and service charges, come with shorter leases and cannot be sold to anyone other than an investor. This is the biggest issue, as you cannot exit the investment unless you find another investor. Thus, the market value does not rise. Typically, these are sold by aggressive sales agents and we have had many customers who have contacted us wanting to exit such investments. They are also likely to be affected by changes in education policy (e.g. rise in fees; thus, depressing demand).

Take a look at our comparison table for additional costs, and fees regarding student pod deals. The gross income can be rather different to the net income, especially if you factor in void periods, which can be as much as 5 months in the year.

Q - Is there anything better for investment?

We are certain our offers and services are some of the best in the world. We regularly look at other areas to see if we can achieve the same benefits; however, at present, like in other countries, lower cost properties with high rental yields are the best forms of low-risk investment. Prices in other areas are higher and rental yields are lower.

Q - Do you offer larger properties with similar deals?

We specialise in low cost, high yield properties because we have spent many years finding the best “equilibrium” for cost versus return. The rental yield percentages are less for larger properties. Thus, we do not offer such deals on larger semi-detached or detached properties.

Q - Can I buy a UK property without visiting the UK?

Yes. In fact, most of our investors choose this option due to time constraints, availability, and ease, coupled with the secure buying process. If you are visiting later, you can still buy but we will need to get your documents (passport and address ID) attested by a lawyer in your country to the satisfaction of the UK Land Registry and in accordance with Anti-Money Laundering policies. This can be done easily and we will provide full details. About 70% of our clients buy remotely.

Q - What is the location of these investment properties?

The investment ‘best buy, Low Risk’ properties are usually in the county of Lancashire, close to the vibrant cities of Manchester & Liverpool. There is excellent rental demand here for low-cost properties, and rental yields (rent as percentage of property price) are the highest in the UK. Most savvy investors are investing in the North due to the instability of more southern opportunities, especially London, and because the North offers much more value, choice, and flexibility.

Q - How can I view properties?

Our staff can show you the property; however, you must follow our procedure and you need to provide ID details before visiting the UK. UK regulations specify that we must identify you before we start dealing with you.

Q - How do I choose a specific house for investment?

You select a type of house from the 4 types of investment homes available. At reservation, you are allocated a specific house provisionally but can switch to any of our other unallocated units at the time of viewing (providing you do this prior to legal exchange of contracts).

Q - How do I get to see you at your offices?

Our customers usually land at London Heathrow or Manchester airport. Some travel from London by train to Preston (2 hours 20 minutes). For qualifying customers, we provide a collection service from the airport, railway station or hotel. Normally we would have meetings at our offices and then show you the agreed properties. We can also take you to meet other professionals, such as the solicitors on the same day (e.g. for formal ID and attestation of documents). After your visit, we drop you off at your hotel.

Q - How and when do I make payments for investment properties?

Payments are made after you have agreed to purchase and have signed the agreement. A property is always priced in sterling pounds (£). Payments can be made in any currency and can be converted to £. Normally payments are made into client accounts in £, USD, Euro or AED. The first payment is normally 10% plus the purchase costs. The remaining 90% is paid prior to completion and title registration. Receipts and statements are issued after each payment.

Q – Do you sell only to overseas buyers?

About 30% of our customers are from the UK. We specialise in and are very good at helping overseas buyers for the long term. However, many UK customers who are looking for a ‘total investment solution’ with minimal involvement also buy from us because our options, and services provide a safe, credible, and robust financial opportunity, coupled with more than 6 times the return.

Q – Who pays for repairs, or breakdowns?

All our properties have undergone a complete renovation regardless of cost, they may include; new gas central heating systems including a new boiler, UPVC Double Glazing, Floorings, Kitchen, Bathroom, New Roofs etc. As part of the management of your property, we give you a 2 year “No Quibble” guarantee on all works we carry out.

Q - Will you continue to manage the property after the first 2 years?

Yes. As it is recommended that it is a long-term investment i.e. 5 years, we normally continue to manage on their behalf – but you are not tied to us. You can use any other agent or manage yourself if you wish.

Q - If I wanted to re-sell my investment property in a few years, could you do this and get it done quickly?

Yes. We can help you re-sell your property and we can buy back at the market price. Normally, the re-sale process will take about 3 months, your solicitor will be involved and you should budget for this. If you are looking to re-sell within 2 years, you should not purchase, as you may not make much profit due to purchase and sales costs.

Q - Can I buy an investment property and immediately use it for myself?

Yes, you can, but these properties are best for investment. Look at our ‘Buy to Live’ opportunities where we will find properties more suitable for your exact standards, and desirability.

Q - I am seriously interested. What should I do next?

Discuss your requirements with us. Provide your full ID information, select the type of investment property needed and get the draft documents and agreements. Thereafter, you can decide to visit if you think you are likely to purchase. You should do your research and decide soon. After a period of price drops and stability, prices are now rising in the UK. We cannot guarantee the prices exactly, however, once your reservation agreement is signed, the prices are fixed.

Q - Are property prices rising in the UK?

We are experiencing a strong growth in our properties, however, the statistics for the whole of UK are varied. Average growth in the UK is around 8.4%, with the lower cost properties growing at an even higher rate of up to 15% per year. The lower cost properties could double in price over next 5 years.

Q - Can you get cheaper investment properties?

Yes, you can, but the equation is not the same. For investment properties, prices vary by rental yield. This applies all over the world. With our properties, we can acquire slightly lower cost properties but the rents on these are lower and they may need additional work before they can be rented out. We do not sell such properties as we must provide guaranteed rent. So, the prices on the investment property page are the lowest prices we can sell for.

Q – Can I get a discount from the prices shown?

For investment properties, the prices shown are the actual final contract prices. You will not be able to purchase at a lower price. The price may or could change if there is a delay between you getting the information and signing the Reservation Agreement, and you fix the price by leaving your deposit. This is because prices in the UK are now rising by about 8-10% per year on average; on the lower cost properties, it is a much faster rate of up to 15% per year. The only way to secure the lowest price is to make a decision sooner. Once the Reservation Agreement is signed, the price is fixed and will not increase.

Q - I may decide to live in the UK in the distant future or my children may study there. What do you recommend?

You should get multiple lower cost investment properties now. Then, when you or your family move to the UK, re-sell these and get a ‘Buy to Live’ property which fulfils your needs at that time (your needs will change), and is near to your place of work/study or where you want to be. This will allow your money to grow at a faster rate, will be of lower risk, and will provide you with more flexibility. You could also decide to keep your investment properties rented out and use the funds to rent something suitable for yourself – especially if you were only coming to the UK. We have a specialist department that facilitates your residency within the UK, look at the section called easyVisa for more details.

Q - Can I buy similar properties in other areas of the UK with the same management and guaranteed rent deal?

No. These properties are in the North West, including Lancashire, where prices are low and rental demand is high – so these are the best for investment. We do not offer properties in other areas, as the risks are higher for both you and us, due to the lower demand. Also, due to the popularity of these properties, we have our own management teams in the North West and do not have to rely on third parties.

Q - My budget is much larger. Should I buy a more expensive property?

You should buy multiple lower cost properties if your aim is an investment. These will grow better in value, give higher rental yield, will be of lower risk and provide more flexibility than one big detached property. Look at our comparisons, deals and offers for larger spend, up to £1m, or the “Cluster” deals for exclusive and limited opportunities.

Q - Can I buy a larger semi or detached property with the same management and guaranteed rent deal?

Absolutely not. We have done much in the way of research, and due diligence in acquiring the best, and most lucrative deals, with low initial outlay in mind. We understand and believe that our deals cannot be beaten. Larger properties tend to have lower rental yields and are harder to rent out.

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